Friday 29 August 2014 - Community Concert Series, St Nicholas de la Grave (#95)
Given the experience of not being heard at the Lauzerte concert, we went out and got some extra microphones from MusicZone, so that each section of the band could be amplified via boom mikes.
We then drove the camion over to St Nicolas de la Grave to set up for the night concert. Earlier in the week, when the weather forecast was for possible rain today, we had checked out some indoor locations for the concert with the local organisors. In particular, we checked out the old church, and found some good locations where we could play given the expected audience size. The acoustics were OK, and we thought it would give some great photo opportunities.
However, the weather forecast had improved, after the storm passed through the area earlier than expected early this morning, so it was decided to hold the concert in the original location at the Kiosk (Bandstand), rather than move it to the church. But all the convoy vehicles got to pose in front of the church anyway.
The Kiosk turned out to be a great location, and reminded us of our concert in Yackandandah last year. The organisors provided power for the sound system, which we were trying out in preparation for the Moissac Abbey concert on Saturday, plus extra spotlights which added a bit more pazzazz to the presentation and changed the colour of the basses from blue to turquoise.
The organisors also provided another feast for the band (just like Damazan and Lauzerte). All home-made and delicious. Some could not resist the temptation of two spare baguettes lying on the table for a quick sword fight, while Isaac and I decided on a new strategy for getting paid for playing when we get back to Australia.
After the now-obligatory group photo, which we've used many times since then, we got ready for the concert.
The concert drew around 120 people, and unlike the Night Markets they were there to listen to the music. They were relatively subdued during the songs, but showed their appreciation at the end of each song. The night-time view of the band in the Kiosk was spectacular. The sound from the Kiosk was also pretty good for the audience, as this rendition of Valsa Titi attests to. The audience picked up the increased tempo with their clapping, and one could easily imagine the sight of horses pulling sleighs through the snow in Rumania, first at a walk, then a trot, then a canter, than at full gallop.
After the concert, the organisors (Les Artistes du Kiosque) took around the hat and raised a few hundred euros to help defray some of our costs. We also received a warm vote of thanks from a local singer who sang a farewell song to the band. We then showed a few locals the basics of playing a pan, and after packing up we finally joined some of the organisors for midnight drinks at the local bar.